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Teen Cusp: 6

David Howard

The Course Of Nature

James 3:6

A field belongs to stone
walls – they contain the spirit of that Parihaka prisoner
who lifted one boulder, edged another
underneath. Seventy winters of thistle
wading into the cesspool, seventy
broken promises from Wellington…
                    What have they done to our fair sister?
Jim Morrison charges my iPod. Saskia collects zigzag
pinecones Over Here! Near our bonfire
steam presses my sweaty shirt: I feel ready
for a Sunday sermon, And the tongue is a fire.
Saskia laughs, rubbing an egg so much it
spits yellow and clear.

The dreary expanses of your translations (Frank O'Hara)
don't slow our hens; they favour earthworms over poetry,
especially the heaviness of Russian poetry, punctuated
with the footsteps of condemned men. Saskia asks
Why do you talk to your self? Because
I want to hear poetry.


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